Denver International Airport Generates More Than $36 Billion Annually in Economic Impact for Colorado

July 28, 2023
The result of the study indicates the airport has contributed over $36.4 billon to the state of Colorado’s economy and supported over 220,000 jobs.

Denver International Airport (DEN) remains a major economic engine for the Rocky Mountain region. An outside consultant led a 15-month economic impact study quantifying the economic impact of DEN on Colorado’s economy. The result of the study indicates the airport has contributed over $36.4 billon to the state of Colorado’s economy and supported over 220,000 jobs.

“Denver International Airport has done tremendous work in elevating Denver and Colorado as global destinations, opening the doors for increased tourism and trade, and ensuring the resiliency of our economy,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “The economic impact DEN has had since its opening more than 25 years ago is an incredible asset for the vibrancy of Denver – and our entire state – and presents even greater opportunity and success both today and for Denver's future.”

In the 2020 study (2018 data) DEN was found to contribute $33.5 billion to the state’s economy according to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics’ 2020 Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study. The 2023 (2021 data) study concludes an 8.7% increase in DEN’s economic impact.

Since opening in 1995, DEN has grown to become a multi-billion-dollar economic engine for the Denver metropolitan area, Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountain region, and a central transportation hub in the world’s largest aviation market.

“As travel demand and passenger needs and expectations continue to grow, we recognize our responsibility to exceed those needs and expectations in order to help bolster and support the economic health of our city, state and region,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “Every decision, project and initiative starts with how the airport can continue improving the customer experience. The projects being completed under Vision 100 will not only prepare DEN to serve 100 million annual passengers but also generate considerable economic activity.”

DEN has already initiated several improvements under Vision 100 to address capacity, services and facilities. Notable ongoing projects include the Great Hall renovation and Gate Expansion Program. Future projects are expected to provide improvements to the airfield, concourses and Peña Boulevard in anticipation of increased passengers, vehicles and aircraft traffic, while also increasing customer service satisfaction.

The study also looks ahead to what the economic impact will be over the implementation of DEN’s Vision 100 strategic plan. In 2032, or sooner, when Vision 100 projects are expected to be complete and passenger levels are anticipated to exceed 100 annual passengers, DEN would support 447,386 jobs with a total economic impact of $71.28 billion. This near doubling of economic impact from 2021 to 2032 and the separate quantified impact of implementation of the Vision 100 infrastructure program demonstrates the tremendous power of DEN as a regional and statewide economic generator.